The land that is today Iran was Persia, one that evokes images of grandeur, of magnificent palaces and flying carpets. Huh? Flying carpets? Sorry for the mix up. The carpet salesmen were from the Arabian nights.
But then Persian carpets are really valuable. And we digressed as usual.
Yes it is true that the Medes, those ancient Iranians had already migrated and dominated the present day borders by 1000BC. However, it was established first as an enduring, united and vast empire by Cyrus the Great in 550BC.
Persia has lived through two millennia of falling and rising dynasties like China. It has outlasted its contemporaries in the form of the Romans, Byzantines and the Ottomans. Well, not quite the Ottomans whom the Turks lay heritage claim to.
In 2017, Mel intend to commence collecting and reading of Persian history books having completed East and Central Asia. What a coincidence.
Being labelled a pariah state is not a compliment. For years the country felt the harsh hand of sanctions and exclusion from the world stage. Thus it is a good thing that this country is slowly being re-welcomed back into the family of nations.
With the country opening up rapidly for tourism as this article suggests, it is definitely time to make the journey before it loses its exotic allure just like Cuba is likely to. With even BA resuming flights 6 times a week (London to Tehran), what excuse do we have for not planning? Aargh…so many places opening up at the same time and we have limited time and money to journey there!